Australian new-home sales in May fell 4.3%, marking first decline in five months; overall profile for new home sales healthy, with sales up 3.8% over three months to May: Housing Industry Assn.

CAMPBELL, Australia , June 30, 2014 (press release) – New home sales recorded their first decline in five months in May, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

HIA’s New Home Sales Report, a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders, fell by 4.3 per cent in May 2014.

“The overall profile for new home sales is a healthy one, given that May marks the first decline in new home sales this year,” remarked HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale. “Sales grew by 3.8 per cent over the three months to May 2014 to be up by 21.0 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.”

“Further upward momentum may be a challenge and it is a distinct possibility that new home sales have peaked for the cycle,” noted Harley Dale. “The volume of new home sales
nevertheless remains consistent with further growth in detached house building and the continuation of historically elevated levels of multi-unit construction in 2014/15,” observed Harley Dale.

“Detached house construction has the potential to grow faster in 2014/15 than in 2013/14, but land supply constraints are again being exposed in this current upcycle, including a shortage of titled land in Sydney and Perth,” Harley Dale said. “Inadequate land supply is one prominent example of supply side constraints preventing new home construction reaching its full potential, highlighting the need for a focus on housing policy reform.”

Detached house sales fell by 2.2 per cent in the month of May, but over the May 2014 ‘quarter’ were still up by 5.7 per cent. Sales of multi-units also fell in May–dropping by a relatively sharp 16.1 per cent-and slipped by 6.2 per cent over the May quarter.

In the month of May 2014, private detached house sales increased by 3.3 per cent in Victoria and inched up by 0.5 per cent in Queensland. Monthly sales of detached houses fell by 6.7 per cent in Western Australia and were down by 5.8 per cent in South Australia and by 5.4 per cent in New South Wales.

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